I am a cook, not a baker. But I love baked savories like Wild Mushroom Tart especially, and not-too-sweet pastries, squares, and biscuits too. So I keep on going with the baking efforts in hopes that I will improve.
But as you likely know, cooking is a more forgiving art than baking. Baking, well it requires precision, solid recipes, and clear instructions.
So to mitigate potential DIY disasters, I brought on as much help as possible in the form of the Tartine cookbook. With its timeless collection of classics, I figured we cannot go wrong.
This recipe for Wild Mushroom Tart comes from the cookbook. I've made it successfully three times now, and enjoyed it immensely each time. I would be so happy if someone else tried it and loved it nearly as much!
Let me tell you about Tartine for a moment.
Tartine is a neighborhood bakery in San Francisco's Mission District, owned by husband and wife team Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson.
The couple met at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, New York, then went on to train in France at old world bakeries and beyond.
Together, they have created what is arguably the most famous bakery in the United States. (Well, Bon Appétit just said it in April.) But the evidence bears that out.
Robertson continues to travel the world to learn how he can improve his bread even further. These days, according to Bon Appétit, he is focused on figuring out how to bring an "artisanal industrial bread" to the mass market.
While this might sound self serving to some, the complete dearth of quality bread in the world makes this a truly laudable goal.
For those of you who are still wondering why I am continuing to praise Tartine, maybe this will help you envision it: It’s one of those places where simple ingredients come together perfectly, where butter, milk, flour, salt, minimal unrefined sugar, fruit, and a bit of savory magically transform into sublime eats, and you wonder how they did it.
It is a place where traditional breads are leavened with airborne yeast and sourdough starter—there's no commercial yeast in sight—and the resultant breads are dark and crusty; shapes are round, long, and oblong, with cuts across their tops. It is the kind of bread you savor with good, cold butter.This Wild Mushroom Tart brings the beautiful bakery experience to your home.Click To Tweet
I hope your city has a bakery where things look rustic and beautiful. I'd love to hear about your favorites in the comments, and what you love about yours.
It is unfortunate, but bakeries like this are few and far between. Perhaps this contributes to the enjoyment of eating when you finally get to one. They say rarity makes it precious.
My view is, if I am going to indulge in sweets, or any rich baked foods, it ought to be pure and good. The wait makes the experience all the more special.
This Wild Mushroom Tart brings the beautiful bakery experience to your home.
Aside from its simple, buttery pastry, you have mushrooms and shallots cooked in butter, salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice, nutmeg, fresh thyme, egg yolks, and crème fraîche or heavy cream.
To me this is a beautiful ingredient list. Everything flows together so well. Everything smells so good when it's cooking.
And get this tart seasoned just right, and it tastes like the beautiful harmonious section of a classical symphony. It is also perfect for a vegetarian main on a festive occasion such as Thanksgiving.
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Tartine's Wild Mushroom Tart
- One partially baked and cooled 9-inch savory tart shell, purchase pre-made, or make from scratch. See my post on Tartine’s Flaky Tart Dough for instructions on how to make the dough from scratch, and also how to partially bake a tart shell.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup shallots, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 pound assorted fresh mushrooms, see notes
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream, see notes
- 3 large egg yolks
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, coarsely minced, for garnish
- Equipment neededIf you have a 9-inch tart pan with fluted edges, use it, but if you don't, a 9-inch pie pan still works. Since a tart pan has a lower edge, the filling does not come completely to the top of the pie dish. To compensate, and make a larger tart, you can increase the recipe by a half to bring the filling to the top, and increase the cooking time. I have tried this, and it works.
Make the mushroom tart
- Prepare the mushrooms by removing any stems you do not want to use, and slice or halve them. I like the pieces to be no more than a ½-inch thickness.
- Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan (enameled cast iron if you have it), over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté until they just start to brown. Add the prepared mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the mushrooms are soft and starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and water and use it to remove any caramelization (a.k.a. flavor) from the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and set aside until needed. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche, egg yolks, and nutmeg until smooth. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine. Turn the mixture into the partially baked tart shell.
- Bake until the tart custard is barely firm to touch in the center. Although Tartine says it cooks in 20 minutes, it took 45 minutes to reach this stage in my oven. Remove from oven and allow to cool. The custard continues to set as it cools.
- Serve warm, or at room temperature, sprinkled with fresh thyme. Use a serrated knife to cut pieces of tart with the crispy shell. Enjoy for lunch or dinner with a fresh green salad garnished with roasted beets, apples, goat cheese, and something like a red wine vinaigrette.